Genmab Expands ADC Pipeline with $1.8 Billion Acquisition of ProfoundBio

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Genmab's acquisition of ProfoundBio will boost its clinical and preclinical pipeline of ADCs for targeted cancer treatment.

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In a deal expected to close in the first half of 2024, Genmab will acquire clinical-stage biotechnology company ProfoundBio for $1.8 billion in an all-cash transaction, according to an April 3, 2024 press release. ProfoundBio specializes in developing next-generation antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) and ADC technologies for certain cancers, such as ovarian cancer and other folate receptor alpha (FRα)-expressing solid tumors.

Under the deal, Genmab will gain worldwide rights to ProfoundBio’s portfolio of next-generation ADCs, which includes three clinical programs and multiple preclinical programs. Clinical programs include Rina-S, a FRα-targeted, topoisomerase 1 (Topo1) ADC currently in the Phase II stage of a Phase I/II clinical trial. Rina-S is being evaluated for treating ovarian cancer and other FRα-expressing solid tumors.

The acquisition will also combine ProfoundBio’s ADC technology platforms with Genmab’s proprietary antibody platforms, potentially creating new opportunities to generate and develop new oncology therapeutics.

“The proposed acquisition of ProfoundBio firmly aligns with our long-term strategy and our ambitious 2030 vision to impact the lives of patients through innovative antibody medicines,” said Jan van de Winkel, president and CEO, Genmab, in a company press release. “We believe that ProfoundBio’s ADC candidates, proprietary technology platforms, and talented team will be a great addition to Genmab and that, together, we will be able to accelerate the development of innovative, differentiated antibody therapies for cancer patients.”

The addition of Rina-S to Genmab’s portfolio will additionally strengthen the company’s presence in gynecologic oncology and allow it to build a foundation in solid tumors. This would be possible because Rina-S aims to address a broader patient population than first-generation FRα-targeted ADCs. Based on data from the ongoing Phase I/II clinical trial, Genmab will aim to expand development plans for Rina-S within the ovarian cancer space as well as with other FRα-expressing solid tumors. Rina-S was granted fast track designation by FDA in January 2024 for treating patients with FRα-expressing high-grade serous or endometrioid platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.


“Genmab shares our team’s mission of developing novel therapies to improve outcomes for cancer patients. Genmab’s deep expertise in antibody drug development and commercialization makes this a compelling union that will allow us to rapidly develop and realize the full potential of our ADC therapies to benefit patients,” said Baiteng Zhao, ProfoundBio’s co-founder, CEO, and chairman of the board, in the press release.

In recent months, major biopharma players have also made significant moves toward building up ADC capabilities. In December 2023, Bristol Myers Squibb formed an $8.4 billion collaboration with SystImmune to co-develop and co-commercialize lead ADC candidate for cancer treatment in United States (1). In March 2024, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) completed its $2 billion acquisition of Ambrx Biopharma, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, which gives J&J the opportunity to design, develop, and commercialize targeted ADCs with Ambrx’s proprietary ADC technology platform. The platform utilizes highly specific-targeting monoclonal antibodies with a potent chemotherapeutic payload (2).


1. Bristol Myers Squibb. SystImmune and Bristol Myers Squibb Announce a Global Strategic Collaboration Agreement for the Development and Commercialization of BL-B01D1. Press Release, Dec. 11, 2023.
2. Johnson & Johnson. Johnson & Johnson Completes Acquisition of Ambrx. Press Release, March 7, 2024.

Source: Genmab